Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Service SUCKS in Costa Rica pt. 2 the Explanation

This is a follow-up from yesterday's post about the SERVICE in Costa Rica.

Obviously, based on the comments and private emails I received, I did a lousy job of explaining why I said what I said. I apologize for being a little 'general', but I stand by what I said about the over all service tourists receive while visiting Costa Rica. It does borderline on SucKs!

Let me explain.

The video is/was meant for tourists, not those who live here.

It doesn't really apply to backpackers or those people who travel off the beaten path.

BUT, it is for those folks who hit the more 'touristy' destinations in Costa Rica- Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, La Fortuna, Puerto Viejo, Samara, Montezuma, Malpais and I suppose San Jose.

The fact is, these places are tourist towns for the most part that CHARGE tourist prices. You would really have to do your homework in order to find bargain prices in these touristy towns. Rooms can reach VEGAS prices, ditto for food. So, I'm not talking little mom and pop sodas or small B&B's, this video is for those people who mostly follow the guide books and/or TripAdvisor- the more popular tourist places where Tico's would rarely go... and for good reason.

It's simple- Tourist prices without the service to match the price. Do you want to pay $220 per night but wait an hour for an extra towel? Want to pay gringo prices for a steak but can't get a beer for 30 minutes... or get said beer from some guy who clearly would rather be doing something else... but it is what it is and what it is, IS an indifference of sorts. Shouldn't you expect decent service when you're paying 'back home' prices? And let's just say this issue of sucky service pertains to a VERY large percentage of tourist hotels and restaurants in Costa Rica. *Try this if you're ever in Costa Rica eating at a Tico owned restaurant- obviously don't lie, but if the steak sucks, complain appropriately and report back to me what happens...

So, it's rare when promptness, friendly service and quality of product come together to match the 'gringo' price being charged. Keeping the above in mind, here's the video in question.

In Summary- Don't expect to much in the way of service but if you get good service, COOL. Embrace the Pura Vida while you're here and seriously, do you really need to stay at a Ritz Carlton type of place in Costa Rica or eat a $50. steak? I think not. Downsize everything, including your gringo expectations.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Monday, May 28, 2012

SERVICE in Costa Rica Borders on SUCKS!

Costa Rica is known for MANY things but good SERVICE is NOT one of them.

Service, or lack there of, would be defined as- prompt, personable and how feedback is dealt with. Read the latter as 'what happens when the steak sucks'. Rarely do all of these things come together in Costa Rica.

Chalk it up to anything you want- 'Pura Vida' attitude, laziness, nonchalance or the fact most Costa Ricans make about $3. bucks an hour... whatever, but the fact remains the same- Costa Ricans are NOT very service oriented. *However, it should be noted that the BEST service in Costa Rica comes from Gringo operated establishments- WORD. Reason being, gringos understand the importance repeat customers, TripAdvisor, and the faster they get you a beer, the more money they make.

After 7 years of living in Costa Rica, I've concluded it's just not in their genes.

Here's our VIDEO about the service in Costa Rica:

In the beginning, coming from Las Vegas, it was hard to accept their overall nonchalance about service. To me, it came across as out and out RUDE. But now my attitude is different and like many things I've had to adjust too, I've come to embrace it. My expectations are low and I simply enjoy whatever I'm doing and when the drink does finally arrive, I appreciate it all the more. Now don't get me wrong, I prefer Las Vegas type service but here in Costa Rica, there's not much you can do about it, so you eventually learn to live with it... or not. And for the RECORD- the 'or not' types don't usually last long in Costa Rica.

My TIP- don't.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Cooking with Dogs in La Fortuna VIDEO wtf?

Our friend, Scott, owns Lava Lounge and Gecko Gourmet in La Fortuna Costa Rica- the former being one of the more popular restaurants in the area... whatever but Scott is also a BIG TIME dog/animal LOVER. He pretty much takes care of all the street dogs in the La Fortuna area, making sure they're spaded and neutered, fed, have their shots, and really, provides just about anything a particular dog may need- so if a dogs in trouble, Scott will be there. As of this writing, Scott is taking care of about 50 dogs. His goal is to ultimately adopt the dogs out.

Scott also hosts a 'Costa Rican Tropical Cooking Class' for tourists interested in learning about Costa Rican cuisine first hand, so to him, it made perfect sense to make a video combining his Cooking Class and his rescue dogs. He asked us to shoot the video. It's below and a must see for any dog lover. *We've done a few videos about Scott and his dogs and his Costa Rican Cooking Class- here's a link to his YouTube page if you're interested.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lake Arenal Party Boat

Lake Arenal in La Fortuna Costa Rica is one of the most under utilized lakes in the world. I said it and I'm sticking to it.

It's always been strange to me how little use Lake Arenal actually gets. It's freakin' beautiful, 26 miles long, surrounded by rolling hills and jungle where capuchin monkeys, aka white-faced monkeys, often can be seen on the shore quenching their thirst. And HELLOOOOO, all in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano, this is ONE SWEET lake. But with the exception of Tico holidays, and few small ferry boats that shuffle tourists from La Fortuna to Monteverde and vice versa, Arenal really doesn't get the PLAY you would think it would.

Kayaking on Lake Arenal- Beautimus.

Personally, I think this is a good thing, NO, a GREAT thing, as Lake Arenal could easily be turned into a water park of sorts, boats of all shapes and sizes cruising about, jet skies water-weaving at 600mph around everything that floats- alive and otherwise, parasailing for those people who haven't actually done it yet, really, those people exist? And of course a BIG FUCK ALL marina. I say NO THANX. I like Lake Arenal just the way it is. Nice to know there's a few things in nature that haven't been capitalized on yet.

That's not to say you can't ENjoY the lake if you want. There's tours that take you out fishing, kayaking, skiing, windsurfing, wake boarding etc. Just not a lot of them and if the last 7 years are any indication, business runs extremely HOT or extremely Cold, not a whole lot of warm going on.

Me, chillaxin on an island beach in the middle of Lake Arenal.

My friend, Erick, is throwing his tour into the MIX. His tour is like the ULTIMATE combination of boat tours- Part, Booze Cruise/Party Boat/Sunset-Volacno Tour/Beach Time/Fishing etc. pretty much anything the people want to do is made available. There's talk their will be a second boat for skiing and wake boarding activities, but as he's in the early stages of working his tour, not sure about the 'second boat'.

Imperial vs. Pilsen

If anyone can make this tour work, it's Erick. He's a go-getter, friendly, personable and understands the importance of marketing. Good thing too, since he's going to need those skills in order to make this tour successful- it's not like it hasn't been tried before.

I know we had a GREAT time. Couple kinks need to be worked out but that's to be expected. Actually, we'll be taking the tour again in a few days and I expect it will be even BETTER. But honestly, this boat tour isn't geared for everyone, especially those folks who expect 1st class 'cruise' conditions- Erick's tour is for PARTY PEOPLE, younger peeps who don't mind there's not a bathroom on the boat but understand that nature will provide *wink* or for those who want to experience the beauty of Lake Arenal without paying an arm and leg to do so.

And of course we shot video which will put together in the near future. pura vida.

TONS of Costa Rica Travel Info and VIDEOS on our website: Travel Costa Rica NOW and if you want to visit our YouTube Channel: iCostaRica24 ENjoY!